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Randle joined Mills & Reeve in 2014. He has a broad range of experience gained as a paralegal and a legal technologies advisor and started as a trainee solicitor in September 2020.
I joined the firm in 2014, starting in the central inception team where I did anti-money laundering and client due diligence work. After a couple of years, I went on to become a paralegal in the then legal services team. This was initially serving the firm quite broadly in areas such as employment, corporate, commercial, insurance disputes and real estate. Once the team became the litigation services team, I moved to focusing mostly on working for insurance clients.
At this point I found an unusual interest in costs and e-disclosure, and I started working on ways to make the processes easier, faster and a bit more accurate. I started coding on Excel, developing a solution to assist with costs assessments. I then progressed to e-disclosure, learning how to formulate searches and incorporate machine learning to improve accuracy and efficiency. This meant that we very rarely needed external consultants to do this, and we managed to reduce costs.
The firm recognised I was doing a lot of work on the tech side of law and offered me a job as a legal technologies advisor. I had secured a training contract just before then, so worked in the legal tech role for 9 months before starting as a trainee solicitor. I moved through my five seats, qualifying as a solicitor into the commercial team. You could say I have a wider range of experience than most, which has set me up to be an effective commercial solicitor.
I found the four-month seat structure very beneficial. It gave me a great breadth of experience before having to decide where I wanted to qualify. I’ve undertaken 5 seats over my training contract, the first three, I soon realised, weren’t for me and when it came to my 4th and 5th, I struggled to choose between them because they both really gelled with me. Without the four-month seats at Mills & Reeve, I feel my experience would have been different and I perhaps wouldn’t have found the area of law best suitable for me.
Another element of the training I found useful was the flexible focus on matter related hours as a trainee. I feel it really gives you the opportunity to ingrain yourself into the firm and raise your profile through networking, social and charity events. If I could give one piece of advice to trainees, it would be to really get involved in the extracurricular activities, whether that’s the charity committee, helping at events or joining the sports and social committee. Mills & Reeve has a wide variety of initiatives to get involved in, so do profile raise and immerse yourself into what the firm offers before you have too many chargeable hours targets.
The Norwich office has a great social atmosphere, there’s lots of friendly people and always lots happening. I’d say it’s quite a lively office, there’s always various sports & social and charity committee events happening, and loads of people get involved. I also have to mention the brilliant location. It’s only a few minutes’ walk into the city where you’re surrounded by lovely cafes, shops and places to sit and relax on your lunch break. Overall, it’s a well laid out office, the people are lovely and it’s in the perfect place. What more could you ask for?
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